Garland in Contempt: House Seeks DOJ Criminal Charges

( – The U.S. House of Representatives has held Attorney General Merrick Garland in contempt after the latter’s continued defiance of orders from Congress regarding the investigation into the sensitive documents found in the offices of President Joe Biden.

Many Republicans in Congress, in particular, are livid over Garland’s refusal to hand over the audio recordings of the interview between the president and Special Counsel Robert Hur. Hur was appointed Special Counsel in order to investigate Biden’s classified documents case – GOP members in the House, many of whom are continuing to investigate the president and his family’s dealings, were hoping to find more information to support their impeachment investigation against the country’s chief executive.

The motion to hold Garland passed muster in the House along party lines, 216 to 207. One House Republican, however, Ohio Representative David Joyce, condemned the passage of the measure.

Representative Joyce, a former prosecutor, wrote, in a statement that he could not “in good conscience” support a measure “that would further politicize our judicial system” in an effort to simply “score political points.”

Hur’s report on the classified documents essentially said that the whole incident was an honest mistake, with the special counsel calling the president a “well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory”. Hur added that it would be hard to win over a jury against Biden, who would then be well into his eighties, and convince them to convict him “of a serious felony that requires a mental state of willfulness.”

The GOP-lead measure against Garland relegates the matter to the Department of Justice for criminal charges. However, the DOJ said that it will not be prosecuting the Attorney General. In a letter to Republican Louisiana Representative and House Speaker Mike Johnson, Assistant Attorney General Carlos Uriarte explained that the DOJ is simply adhering to an established rule of not filing contempt charges against officials who do not hand over subpoenaed information that is also subject to an assertion of executive privilege.

In response, Speaker Johnson condemned the decision of the DOJ and said that the House would take the matter to court.

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